Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- Syracuse Police are stepping up the fight against animal abuse. They’ve assigned an officer to focus on the overwhelming number of abuse cases in the city.
Officer Rebecca Thompson is ready to end the culture of dog fighting, abuse and neglect in Syracuse.
“I like animals and they're defenseless. They have nobody to look after them if they're being abused. They need somebody to be their voice,” Officer Thompson said.
Thompson is stepping up to the task, with plenty to do. There are unsolved cases – like the dog dragged behind a car along I-81 last December – and new cases almost every day. She's had the position for less than three weeks, and she already has more than 30 cases to follow up on.
“I think the SPCA has been so overwhelmed. They don't even know about half the calls we get at the police department…many of these people think they can get away with it and it's just not going to happen anymore,” Thompson said.
Thompson made an animal cruelty arrest regarding an eight-year-old pit bull earlier this week
. The dog is extremely sick, has an eye infection and has lost her appetite.
Donations are already coming in to the DeWitt Animal Hospital to help pay for the dog's testing to figure out why she's so sick and not eating.
But she's just one of many dogs that end up at the animal hospital for abuse or neglect. While checking in on Gracie, NewsChannel 9 witnessed another dog that was being dropped off after he was found chained up on Hutchinson Ave.
“These cases are very hard to investigate because the animals can't tell you who did this to them and what was done to them. I have to rely on a lot of investigative hours, locating witnesses who will cooperate and medical evidence from the veterinarians,” Thompson explained.
But now, Officer Thompson has the time to focus on the animals and send a message to owners that this abuse won’t be tolerated.
Officer Thompson will be working closely with the SPCA and shelters throughout Central New York. If you have any information about an animal abuse case, call Officer Thompson at the Syracuse Police Department.